July 30th, 2008
11:00 AM ET
15 years ago

Poll: Most Americans want offshore drilling

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/30/art.gasprices.gi.jpg caption="Most Americans are for offshore drilling but are split on whether it will change gas prices."](CNN) - Most Americans favor an increase in offshore oil drilling but the public is split over whether or not it would result in lower gas prices in the next year, according to a just-released CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll.

More than two thirds of Americans say they favor increasing drilling efforts off America's costs while only 30 percent disapprove of such action. Those numbers come the same day President Bush publicly scolded Democratic congressional leaders for not putting his proposal to expand domestic oil drilling, specifically on the outer continental shelf, to a vote.

iReport.com: Is drilling the best option?

The issue has become a divisive one on the campaign trail, with John McCain in favor of lifting a congressional ban on offshore drilling while Barack Obama is opposed to such a proposal.

McCain has said such increases in drilling efforts could ease prices at the pump within a "matter of months." But Obama has said there is little evidence that drilling offshore would have any positive effect on American consumers and is instead pushing energy rebates.

The poll also shows Americans are divided when it comes to the effect of offshore drilling. Just over 50 percent think it will reduce gas prices while 49 percent say it will not.

More from CNNMoney.com

soundoff (211 Responses)
  1. gastoys

    To all you liberal lefts... It takes a car company 5 years to develop the next model car and you all think we can have an alternative solution in less than 10? The new Honda Hydrogen car cost over $1,000,000 to produce and they are only making 100 of them for a hand full of people as a $600 per month lease. There are only a few hydrogen gas stations in the entire united states and it takes a electricity to convert H2O into Hydrogen which means we'll need more power plants.

    Drilling will be a short term fix as well as get us off foreign oil until we can produce alternative technologies.

    July 30, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  2. Mattk

    I would have to respond with MOST AMERICANS ARE IDIOTS THEN! This will do nothing to aleviate gas prices for another 10-15 years. The answer is build some refineries and in the mean time research alternative energy forces. People that want to drill need to put the kool aid down and actually take a look at the issue. STOP RUINING MY COUNTRY

    July 30, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  3. Brandon

    Drilling for Oil in the gulf is a temporary fix. We have to come to the realization that oil isn't a renewable energy source. Why damage the ocean's ecosystem for something that isn't sustainable? Renewable energy research is the most sensible option. Most American's aren't known for their ability to reason, this coming from an American. Wake up America. We need to act now. Renewable Energy research, not more drilling.

    July 30, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  4. Rogan

    "But Obama has said there is little evidence that drilling offshore would have any positive effect on American consumers and is instead pushing energy rebates."

    'Rebates' = cash. Government cash comes from taxpayers. To raise extra cash for the rebates taxes have to be raised. And thats only a single issue – what about all of the other programs and cash expenditure promises to "change" things?

    Change for the better? Get real!

    July 30, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  5. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    If drilling started today, it would take years (4-6) before we would see any of the oil for our use today.

    Developing alternative methods is faster and cheaper – and will never happen until the oil industry sets up companies to do just that!

    And T. Boone Pickens?! Coincidentally he just happens to own 68% of the land that would be leased to the windmills for wind power. How much of an interest does he have in the compnaies that make the windmills and related parts? He has in interest, but he won't disclose how much.

    Besides, isn't he due to sponsor the next "Swift Boaters" against Obama like he did against Kerry?!

    July 30, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  6. Sherry, Atlanta

    INSTANT FIX...why is it so difficult for Most American's to understand what Off-Shore Drilling would entail. 1) Oil Spills (Louisanna?) 2) Earthquakes (California?) 3) Tourist Revenue (Florida?). When we learn to look beyond the 'Nose On Our Face'.


    July 30, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  7. Richard, CA

    Take all those polled and exclude anyone that does NOT live in a coastal state.

    Now what are the poll numbers?


    July 30, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  8. Tony D

    I can't wait to see people driving around with " windmills " on top of their cars !!!

    July 30, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  9. TangoDancer

    The national polls for offshore drilling seem to reflect the "national" mood. The only polls for this issue that really matter are the individual states that are directly affected with drilling on their shores. If these states object to the drilling, then that poses a potentially tricky and nasty fight for McCain and company to actually implement this agenda. In this case, I think the NIMBY voters in the states affected would be overwhelmingly against the drilling, which makes McCain's objective unlikely to be achieved with legislation.

    July 30, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  10. Joe

    McCain has said that it is up to the states to decide whether or not they want offshore drilling off their coasts. So if the people in the midwest and south want it but those states along the coasts don't, what then?

    July 30, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  11. Rocky

    Abby, whats unfortunate is that AL Gore has convinced you the the law of supply and demand does not work when you talk oil. Supply and demand works with everything from paper to steel to wood. If you don't beleive me then tell me why Pelosie want's to open the SPR.

    July 30, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  12. empty vessel

    Do this as STEP NUMBER ONE, imagine if you will, that if Bill Clinton didn't veto the bill to START the drilling, we would be USING THE OIL NOW!

    The Republicans have been begging you lefties to do this in a controlled manner, also use coal, windfarms, nuclear energy, etc, etc but the Dr No's in the Democratic party have shot EVERYTHING down.

    While we use these means, we can ALSO look into alternatives, a FULL PLATE OF IDEAS and NO MORE DR NO'S.

    Have Democrats talked about alternatives, YES, but that is ALL they have done while Clinton and Al Freaken Gore was in office, ALL TALK and NO ACTION.

    The TIME to act is NOW and this is a GOOD FIRST STEP.

    July 30, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  13. helenl

    Most Americans want offshore drilling? Most Americans don't live near the shore.

    July 30, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  14. Rob

    Sure in somebody else's backyard, not mine.

    July 30, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  15. Jordan - San Marcos TX

    2/3rds of this country have bought the oil industry's greedy lies. After what has been done to us over the past few years in the name of a "free market" while oil CEOs cash larger and larger checks you would think that we would learn.

    But then again we did re-elect George W. Bush.

    July 30, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  16. R.I.F.

    low-information voters are always the key to republicans success. Then those same low-information voters complain when they keep becoming poorer and poorer. Drilling will not help!!!!

    July 30, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  17. William Ayers

    For all of you lib idiots, what exactly is lifting the ban going to hurt? You feel we should use our strategic reserve to curb prices (which is for a real crisis). Lift the ban so the speculators can speculate that America will not put up with ridiculous prices. Lifting the offshore drilling ban won't hurt anyone except crybaby environuts and Obama. We are decades from a viable alternative, get real.

    July 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  18. J

    People want Off Shore dilling b/c they don't understand the problem, b/c Entrainment Companies like CNN, Fox, and MSNBC misinform people. Off shore drilling is not going to do anything to help gas prices in the next 7 years. A well thought out reaction would be much better instead of this Disaster Capitalism tactic.

    July 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  19. Obama

    Obama is not further ahead because he is not presidential material and people know it. I guess we are idiots if we do not want Obama according ot his supporters. Obama acts like a know it all (and does not know very much) and his supporters act like they know it all too. Sorry, but people with any brains at all do not think Obama walks on water, or can heal the world, blah blah blah. Like I said in my comment that you took out CNN – Obama is a "fraud". Obama is for "Obama"!!!!!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  20. Michael

    Of course we do. Only smug elitists like Harry Reid and the cosmetially enhanced dragon lady think they know best.

    July 30, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  21. Mike

    These are the same people that think McCain would make a good president. This is starting to look like the movie Idiocracy.

    July 30, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  22. Mark Garcia

    Drilling will not happen off the California coast no matter how many people outside of California want it. It will be voted down by the people of California and the governor.

    July 30, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  23. Lorna, NY

    They want this because most Americans do not know that there are already billions of leased land that the oil companies are not drilling. If they are not drilling on the land that they have, why should they get more? Come on America, are we this stupid?

    July 30, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  24. Alli

    This is an indication that most people aren't paying attention to political issues. Really, it makes no sense. The oil companies already have land that they aren't drilling on, but they want to lease more of it? Why not invest money into alternative forms of energy?

    July 30, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  25. ANGIE

    What if we do offshore drill and theres a spill into the ocean that would be a mess as well as expensive to clean what about the cost of equipment, refineries and it could take years for results.

    July 30, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
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